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Missouri Lawyers Awards 2022: John Franke

Franke Schultz & Mullen

It goes without saying that it has been a good year at Franke Schultz & Mullen and much of that has been due to managing partner and founding member John Franke.

Still, don’t look for Franke to take the credit.

“A leader is only as good as his colleagues and I’m proud to be associated with such a fine group of people and lawyers,” said the 59-year-old whose practice focuses on insurance.

Franke is a native of Kansas City but he’s also a graduate of UMKC, a fact that is no accident.

“I took the wise advice that was given to me to go to law school in the city in which you intend to practice,” he noted. “That has worked out very well for me.”

It has worked out well for his organization as well which added multiple lawyers and staff in all of its locations. This year’s growth is representative of a continued expansion that has been going on ever since the firm’s inception.

Franke said the secret to success is a simple one.

“Our law firm has grown from two lawyers 30 years ago to four offices now for only one reason,” Franke said. “That is to properly staff the volume of work that our clients have entrusted to us and to continue to provide exceptional service to those clients.”

In fact, the most important hurdle during the pandemic hasn’t been bringing in clients. It has been locating attorneys to service them.

“Our biggest challenge in this tight labor market is finding qualified lawyers — preferably with some civil defense experience,” he said. “That’s hard to come by. The growth would be even more if we had access to a bigger labor pool.”

Regardless, as Franke Schultz & Mullen prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary in business, it hasn’t lost sight of what has brought it such prosperity.

“Though the law is a distinguished profession, it is also a client service business so during the pandemic, our clients turned to us even more than previously and we responded to their need with a real time response,” Franke said. “Returning calls, texts, emails — not just the same day — but within hours.”

He said that the firm’s approach to law is much like its approach to life. Be open. Be honest. And be fair. It also has to do with what he calls the “three A’s” of business — ability, availability and affability.

“We’ve done our best to follow that advice,” he noted.

Missouri Lawyers Awards 2022